Serial entrepreneur and husband and wife team, Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott are at it again with their new series, “Tori & Dean: sTORIbook Weddings” on Oxygen.
“Tori & Dean: sTORIbook Weddings” takes one lucky couple’s wedding from ordinary to extraordinary. In the lead-up to the big day, Spelling will turn the bride-to-be’s dreams for a beautiful event into a reality while McDermott will help the groom to navigate all the twists and turns. Together, Spelling and McDermott will also help to overcome the potential issues with family, friends and the couples themselves that wedding stress may cause.
I caught up with the duo in an interview to find out how they manage to stay sane working and living together, on who has the hottest bod in Hollywood, Elizabeth Taylor, and the secret behind their successful marriage.
“Tori & Dean: sTORIbook Weddings” premieres Wednesday April 6th at 10 pm Eastern/Pacific Time.
Can you tell us the story of how the series came to be, who came up with the concept and how did things come together?
Tori Spelling: Kind of out our lifestyle because we love to throw parties and basically love any excuse to throw a party. We’ve thrown many for our children and a few friends had asked us to throw their wedding. Started getting into weddings and then in actuality I said to Dean I wanted to start a party planning business. I wanted to do this as a hobby and plan weddings for them. And then we partnered with Oxygen and decided to do it on TV for eight lucky couples.
How did you guys find the eight couples that this series profiles?
Tori Spelling: Couples would send in videos and we collectively looked through – gosh, hundreds of videos and that’s where we chose our eight couples from.
What are some of the key ingredients to a successful wedding?
Tori Spelling: I’m all about the details. I’m a very detailed oriented person and I think – personally I think details are the key to every wedding. Weddings I feel like sometimes can be beautiful but cookie cutter. So I want ours to look anything but that.
Were there any times when there were any different points of view between you and the brides and if so, how did you resolve things?
Tori Spelling: Well I go by the motto that the bride is always right. It’s her wedding.
Dean McDermott: But she’s very influential.
Tori Spelling: Well I love style and parties and bringing everything together and visually creating a visually pleasing wedding. So you know, I always listen to my brides and I can just kind of lean them towards – you know, I’ll take what their input is and kind of give them kind of the sheik version I think.
From the brides and grooms perspectives were there any commonalities in things they were concerned about or anxious about as their wedding day approached among the eight couples?
Dean McDermott: There is a lot of worry that goes on that things will be delivered on time and they’ll get all the things that they want, the colors they want, the theme they want. I think that’s just a given for any couple. Well guys usually their concern – their commonality with all the grooms was music and food. Those were their key concerns.
Tori Spelling: The thing that I found was that the brides were being influenced by family and friends a lot. And they all were trying to figure out how to have their dreams. So if that was a vision of what they wanted for their wedding but they didn’t know quite how to manage their family and their bridesmaid’s because everyone wanted what they wanted. So that was a very common thing that the families would really want to interfere into the wedding.
Was there anything surprising or unexpected that you encountered Tori in taking these brides on the journey to their wedding day?
Tori Spelling: Probably the – I didn’t expect how attached I would get to them. I kind of thought okay great, I’m going to be coming in doing their wedding and then moving on to another couple. But it didn’t pan out that way. We would come in and we would spend so much time with them. And my big thing is I like to really spend time with them and get to know them so I can personalize things in their wedding that you know, they’d be like oh, I didn’t even remember I told you that was my favorite thing and I would have it there at their wedding. Things like that. So that’s important to me. So I would get really attached so I would get really involved in their lives and friends with all these couples. So at the end of the day it was hard kind of moving on from them to a new couple.
Between this series, your other reality series and your general busy life, how do you balance everything that you do and make it work?
Tori Spelling: If you’re doing all the things you love then you can make everything work. Because everything kind of falls into the same role. Everything we do involves, you know, stuff together stuff with families, stuff you know, if it’s planning if it’s decorating if it’s you know, parties, weddings, books it’s all about things that we love. So it all kind of plays into the same genre…
Dean McDermott: That saying you know, if you need something done give it to a busy person. And that’s how we kind of look at things.
How challenging was it to be creative with pug sheik as décor and actually make it work?
Tori Spelling: Well that was one of my favorites just because I’m a huge pug lover. So when I saw that couple on video I was like we have got to do their wedding. And yet, at first when we meet with the couple you know, she wanted everything pug. She was like you know, she wanted it wall to wall pug. And his biggest concern was oh my gosh, this is going to be tacky this wedding because you know, if you have pugs everywhere it’s just going to be a tacky wedding. So it was a little bit of a challenge, but I love a challenge. So I was totally up for it incorporating pug yet making it sheik. And I think we pulled it off.
Dean McDermott: I think you pulled it off (by mistake).
So what’s it like for both of you to know that you’re doing something special for a couple – it’s such a pivotal time in there life.
Dean McDermott: It’s such a great feeling you know, it’s the hardest we’ve ever worked and it’s the most stress we’ve been under. When you see them – see the ceremony and then see them with their friends and family enjoying themselves at the receptions it’s pretty amazing, it’s all worth every ounce of blood, sweat and tears.
How tough is it to take a wedding theme and make sure you’re getting the love story aspect right so it actually feels right to the couple?
Tori Spelling: Well we work hand and hand with the couple and we work with them basically 24 hours a day leading up to their wedding. So I mean of course we want this – their theme to play a big part of it. But we really personalized the couple and you know, really geared the wedding towards their love story. And we sit with them and ask them questions like, tell me about your first date, what was it like when you first loved the other person. When did you say I love you, what was your engagement like? So we take notes about all of that and try to incorporate their love story into the theme of their wedding.
What is it like working together as husband and wife for these projects?
Dean McDermott: It’s awesome. A lot of people say how can you do it, how can you work so close with your spouse I mean you’re together all the time. And we wouldn’t have it any other way. We don’t function well apart.
Tori Spelling: We don’t know any difference because we’ve been working together since we met.
Dean McDermott: Since we met – yes.
Tori Spelling: So it’s what we know. And especially I mean this is really different than working on other projects together because the greatest thing about this is, literally at the end of every wedding it’s like we get to celebrate our love story all over again. Because everyone loves the wedding you can’t not get emotional and reminisce about your own wedding when you’re at another wedding. And especially there is so many emotions that go into planning someone else’s wedding. That I think each wedding we’re just like oh we take something away that we learned from the bride and groom and it’s kind of like we have our little like love story all over again.
Do you kind of bring this stress or these emotions home with you?
Tori Spelling: Not really I mean we’re stressed – we’re pretty stressed before but not with each other. It’s just like go, go, go time. The kids help out that’s the good thing, we put the kids to work. Stella loves stuffing favor bags. So it’s kind of a family project even when it’s stressful.
What were some of the twist and turns you had to navigate? And do you have to do this in your relationship with Tori too?
Dean McDermott: Oh in the wedding. Well for me personally it was you know, learning about flowers and color palettes and what goes with what. You know, because, you know, I am guy. So I like to sort of you know, construction set up of the stuff. I don’t quite know all the little tiny details like tableware and flatware and flower –
Tori Spelling: Arrangements.
Dean McDermott: Arrangements – flower arrangements.
Dean McDermott: Families are always involved in weddings unfortunately.
Tori Spelling: Yes. We found quite a few of the couples – the families didn’t really know each other which was kind of surprising I guess. Yes, one couple she hadn’t met his family and wouldn’t meet them until the wedding day. So there were issues there that we had to navigate. And then we did find that a lot of families had too many opinions. And they weren’t the ones the bride wanted to use but they felt weird because it was their parent’s opinions so we had to navigate that. So yes, family played a big part of every wedding I think.
Is there a theme you’re super excited about ?
Tori Spelling: My favorite is we did a Marie Antoinette Wedding.
Dean McDermott: Yes.
Tori Spelling: Okay. And I’ve always – it’s been a huge dream of mine to do like a big Marie Antoinette party and ball. So I was really excited when this couple – and they are very into fashion – she is in the fashion world and he is a hairstylist. So they were really into kind of the glam and the art of it all. And I was really excited to do that wedding.
Dean McDermott: My favorite was a steampunk wedding. I’m really excited about it because there is a new movement in steampunk and it’s really coming to the forefront. And it just did such an interesting fashion and design incandescent lighting, Victorian meets industrial revolution. And we did that at the Edison and we had aerial acrobatics in steampunk gear, it was really cool.
On Elizabeth Taylor
Tori Spelling: I was pretty devastated and I’m sure everyone is. She was a huge icon I think to everybody. And it’s heartbreaking I guess we all knew that she was ill and that it would happen soon. But I don’t know, it’s hard – I feel like it’s hard when you grow up watching someone and you know, she was obviously a different generation than me. My mom loved her. And then it was my generation I got to watch all of her old movies and catch up with her and become a huge fan. And then now that she passed away it’s like a huge icon has gone that like my daughter won’t know about. So it’s sad.
What did you learn from your own weddings that you could bring to this show?
Tori Spelling: I think the big thing that we learned was that make the day about you because it goes in a flash. And we don’t take a moment to really enjoy it and experience it with your partner. It kind of gets taken over by everyone else at the wedding. So we remind all – I always remind my brides because it was something that was really important to me when I got married. I would remind them right before they walked down the aisle I’d say when you get out there – sorry, when you get out there take in everything. Stop for one second like see your groom, take in the whole scene and just make a mental picture of it and then head down the aisle. Because before you know it you’ll be at the reception. Before you know, it you’ll be on your honeymoon and it’s over. And just it’s something you’ll want to remember for the rest of your life.
Does your respect level for wedding planners just shoot up?
Dean McDermott: Yes. For me yes, I mean…
Tori Spelling: Yes and no. Yes, definitely it is a hard job but I think the reasons are was a little bit different and why we had so much stress. Because I think we definitely personalized the weddings more than any other wedding planners do. I mean I think definitely. I mean I’ve seen some beautiful weddings done my wedding planners but these I mean they literally the details that went into these weddings were extraordinary. And although when you see the show you won’t see all the details because it’s hard to catch every little detail on camera. So hopefully maybe they can use pictures on the Web site or something because some of those details were spectacular.
And on the show site it says that you take one lucky couple wedding from ordinary to extraordinary. What’s your definition of extraordinary?
Tori Spelling: I mean our definition – everyone has a different definition of extraordinary. I think what that means to us is we take what they would have their wedding be and we kind of try to make all their dreams come true. We try to take it to the next level. We try to personalize it, make it everything they could ever want and didn’t even know they want. And – sorry, and again it’s not about spending you know, tons of money it’s just about you know, really making the wedding their dream wedding.
Tori you have such a definite style and very distinctive and you have this whole aesthetic that even with the themes involved with each of the weddings, were you ever worried that in some ways they were becoming more like Tori weddings than the couples?
Tori Spelling: No.
Dean McDermott: Not at all.
Tori Spelling: Not at all. Because I don’t really think I have a certain look. I kind of – I love everything that’s why I was so excited when all these different couples had such a very different visuals and different themes. Because it’s a challenge for me to kind of go out of my comfortable zone and do something completely different. And that’s something I pride myself on, is I never want them to look cookie cutter, I never want to look like – I never want someone to see my weddings and be like oh, Tori did that wedding, Tori did that wedding. I want it to be so different that they are always surprised. And I really listened to my brides and what they wanted and kind of just enhanced that their vision.
Is this a new career for you guys?
Dean McDermott: Serial entrepreneurs.
Tori Spelling: I like to call it a passion it’s just something I’m extremely passionate about. And happened to find out I was good at. And we love doing everything together and Dean has so much to offer doing it. So it’s something that we just decided we wanted to do. It’s just kind of for the love of the party.
Dean McDermott: I do think we’re serial entrepreneurs. I mean we’ve got so many ideas and we’re always trying to flush them out and see how viable they are. And if they are we move forward with that.
Tori Spelling: I feel like everyone has great ideas. It’s just about kind of implementing them and making them happen. Yes and I feel like we do that you know, we think of things and we’re like you know, this might not work but lets try it we give it our all.
You mentioned the Marie Antoinette Wedding, but what is the most unusual wedding request you’ve had so far?
Dean McDermott: Most unusual – a camel, and a flying carpet. Which we made happen.
Tori Spelling: Yes, Dean built the bride a magic carpet because that’s how she wanted to come into the reception.
Dean McDermott: It’s really cool, I’m very proud of that piece of work.
Since you’re doing all this handy work have you ever considered coming up out with a show like that, showing people how to build things?
Dean McDermott: Oh I would love that. I learned all my handiness from my dad who is a carpenter and I love building stuff it’s just such a great sense of accomplishment and a great feeling when you finish something. But I’m sort of an average guy and I know a little bit about everything and a master of nothing. So I would love to do a show like that where it’s like hey, let’s figure this out together kind of thing.
Since your upcoming show is all about weddings what was your favorite part of your very own wedding?
Tori Spelling: Oh doing it alone.
Dean McDermott: That I got to marry the girl of my dreams.
Tori Spelling: We got married alone so I loved in our wedding what we did we did everything that people do at weddings. Whether it was just the two of us or 100 person wedding. We had a rehearsal dinner with us.
Dean McDermott: Invitations.
Tori Spelling: Invitations with us. And we did our first dance alone, we had – cut the cake and we threw the bouquet into the ocean. And so we did all the things you would do at a normal wedding we just did it alone. And we didn’t have to talk to people all night long. You know at weddings you hear – no you do, people line up to tell you about their love story.
Dean McDermott: Right.
Tori Spelling: I would see lots of our brides during the wedding as I’d be walking around the room, I would see like Aunt Mary come up and be like, when I got married 40 years ago. And I’m like oh my God, really? Like this is not what you want to be hearing right now. She wants to enjoy her wedding night. So I do not regret that we did it alone.
If you were to do it over again is there any detail that you would change?
Tori Spelling: No.
Dean McDermott: No, no. It was perfect.
Tori Spelling: It was perfect except our cake.
Dean McDermott: Yes we wanted a butter cream frosting on our cake. And…
Tori Spelling: We got married on an island, so it was very small kitchen there.
Dean McDermott: And they used salted butter.
Tori Spelling: So it was really salty.
Dean McDermott: It was really salty.
What would you say makes your marriage work? Do you think that you do sweet things for each other, set aside time just for each other without the kids anything like that?
Dean McDermott: All of the above. I take any moment in time I can get with T and just tell her how much I love her everyday.
Tori Spelling: Oh. But yes I mean communication is I know everyone that’s a old thing communication. But it works the best and we just try to communicate about everything and just stay on the same page about everything. And just yes, spend time together.
Tori you have an amazing body, who do you think has the hottest body in Hollywood?
Tori Spelling: Oh my gosh, I don’t know. That’s funny I was just watching TV last night and they were doing a hot bodies in Hollywood. Cameron Diaz has a pretty rocking bod. It’s athletic. Except I like a little more curve. Wonder who it be – help me here babe.
Dean McDermott: I can’t answer that question.
Tori Spelling: You’re like I can’t say anything.
Dean McDermott: I can’t answer that question, I can’t answer that question.
Tori Spelling: Oh gosh.
Dean McDermott: A dude who has a rocking body that’s – is Matthew McConaughey. I think for a dad and I think we’re similar in age he has an awesome body.
Tori Spelling: Penelope Cruz always has a great body.
Tori Spelling: It’s not too late she not like too muscular. She is just like curvy and beautiful.
Dean McDermott: How about Scarlett Johansson she’s curvy.
Tori Spelling: I like Penelope Cruz.
Dean McDermott: Okay.
Tori Spelling: I’m going to go with that.
Dean McDermott: I’ll go with Scarlett.
Tori Spelling: Okay.
Dean McDermott: Matthew McConaughey he’s in his 40’s right?
Tori Spelling: Mm-hm.